State of environment

Published: Thursday 15 July 1999

the abysmal state of the environment in India and environment policy failures stand out predominantly in the just-released State of the Environment Report by the Union ministry of environment. The report says that a study in 1995 estimated the economic loss due to air pollution in 36 Indian cities at us $2,102 million per year and major environmental costs from all sources are estimated to be us $9,715 million per year which is 4.53 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product.

The study indicates that 1.65 billion people will have to be fed by the middle of the next century requiring almost 500 million tonnes of foodgrains. The foodgrains have been able to keep up with the pressure mainly because of the Green Revolution but this was accompanied by high environmental costs -- high-yielding varieties replacing the numerous locally adapted varieties making crops vulnerable to diseases.

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